Reading Reviews for Chosen
15 Reviews Found

Review #1, by prettywishes Chosen

22nd November 2012:
Can I just marry your writing? After reading that first one shot I knew that I needed to check out more of your work, and now I feel like I need to read EVERYTHING that you wrote, because it is just so good. I really think that the best part is that you use such intense details that really allow the reader to imagine themselves as part of the scene. But at the same time you don't take them too far in a way that it makes things drag on in needless detail, you just make sure that every word counts.

Anyways, the whole idea of this was something that really appealed to me, because I love the whole 'going crazy' type of thing. I thought it was almost hard to read at parts, especially when he was being compelled to hurt Hermione, and during the OWL. But that just means that it was written so well. The ending, Harry in Mungo's, was something that I really thought was interesting. Very well written!

Author's Response: I would just like to say that all the reviews you've left for me over the past few days -- I think it totals something like 18! -- have completely made my entire week, if not my month. Just knowing you've enjoyed my writing enough to leave me that many reviews gives me a confidence boost the likes of which I can't even properly convey! Details are something I work hard to include in my writing, and I'm so pleased that you like them as much as you do. Seriously. I cannot ever thank you enough for what you've done for me this week!

This and 'Descending,' my other Harry-goes-crazy story, are two of my favorite things on my author's page. I just really, really enjoyed writing them, and it was a lot of fun at the same time I felt I was doing something new, you know? I'm actually really pleased to hear that you found it, at times, hard to read -- because it's definitely not something to take lightly, mental illness. And I'm glad you liked the ending, too! I think it's up to the reader whether Harry truly gets better or not; I don't want to cement that in stone for you.

Basically, you are fantastic. Seriously. I'm working on responding to all your reviews as soon as I can! ♥ Thank you so, so much for taking the time to leave them all for me!!

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Review #2, by LoopyLemon Chosen

21st October 2012:
This is really good. I could feel Harry's pain and that intense hopelessness when you know something is wrong and you know that there is no reason anything should be wrong.

Harry has no reason to be in the state he is but that is what makes the piece so compelling. You captured the feeling of this piece amazingly and you made Harry's terror feel extraordinarily real.

I love how you took a part from the book that we supposedly know the outcome to and changed the outcome. Though it's sad that Sirius is dead, it also added a depth to the piece that just added to how real the piece feels.

I loved how as I was reading this, there was almost a disconnect with the piece, as if Harry himself didn't believe what was happening, but at the same time he knew he was slowly going mad. It was really well done.

The bit at the end was also great at grounding the piece and making it feel even more real.

I really enjoyed this. Good job :D

Author's Response: Hey! It's great to see you by this story -- I'm really, really happy you did stop by, in fact. Writing stories where Harry goes mad are sort of favorites of mine... although I couldn't tell you why!

Incidental madness like the sort I write here is some of the most fascinating to me, and I've done a fair bit of research on it, just because of things like this. I'm so happy you thought the feel of it was right! :3 I wanted to ground this story in canon as much as possible, and I do think it's possible, however slightly, that Harry COULD have gone mad, in canon. There's a lot of stress to be had when Voldemort's inside your mind, to be sure.

The disconnect was intentional as well! I'm seriously so happy you picked up on these things; astute readers are always so rewarding. ♥ The owls were a happy incident resulting from this banner, which I saw and snagged from an UFG thread, and it's great how people have reacted to that. Happy accidents, and all that!

Thanks so much for leaving me this review. ♥ It's taken me a while to respond to it, and I'm sorry for that -- but I do appreciate it so much!

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Review #3, by academica Chosen

26th September 2012:
Hello! I'm finally here for our exchange :)

So I got the sense that this might have mental illness as a serious theme, and I'm doubly thrilled to read it now that I know that's true. I wondered a little if this might have a connection to Descending, which I still have not read and really must. I personally think of Harry first when I think of characters that might have mental illnesses. It seems silly, a bit, since there are others with much more complex and tragic histories, but I just think of the weight that Harry shouldered and don't know how he would walk out of his school years without being traumatized. It's cool to see you explore this idea here, in a way.

I really admire the accuracy of your portrayal here. Schizophrenia literally means "splitting of the mind," which is why so many people confuse it with Dissociative Identity (Multiple Personality) Disorder. I could really see Harry splitting in this story, falling apart little by little as he tries to process being surrounded by the other students and yet being unable to just be one of them. I love how his insanity filters in little by little, first with bothersome sounds and visions, and then with the sensation that his scar pain is drifting from the internal out into the external, coming from others. He ends up turning on himself to try to escape, because he simply can't perceive his attackers. I know this is AU, but I think it actually fits quite well, in terms of how Harry behaved in Book 5, half of him twisted and manipulated as a Horcrux. By the end, he's barely a shred of himself anymore. Schizophrenia robs you of who you are, and you've illustrated it in a darkly poetic way in this one-shot. Plus, you've managed to not make it too clinical, which can be hard when you're researching things.

The ending here was so innocent that it was scary. Ginny's observation actually sent a shiver up my spine. I think it was a little taste of what a horrible reality this might be, where Voldemort has truly consumed all the goodness inside of poor Harry.

I thought the flow here was great, even with the gaps, and I could follow it pretty well despite not having read or seen OOTP very recently. I didn't really notice any problems with technical work. The imagery was beautiful, just as I expected, and it helped to play up the haunting mood of the piece. I especially liked the places where you compared Harry to an animal, like Sirius with his curling lip.

I'm sorry this review took almost until the end of the month to get to you, but this was truly a wonderful piece. You should be proud of it ♥


Author's Response: Hi, Amanda! Wow -- thank you for leaving me such a long, lovely review on this one-shot. ♥

'Descending' is still one of my favorite things on my author's page, and I'd been searching for another excuse or plot in which to give Harry a mental illness for almost a year. :D It took me that long to connect that idea, and his fifth year -- when he looked rather mental to half the school -- and as soon as that happened, the plot came almost instantly! Oh, brain. You work in odd ways sometimes. I definitely agree with you, though; I always kind of felt like Harry experienced too much in his adolescence NOT to be affected by it later on in life.

I'm really, really happy that Harry's illness came across so realistically, too -- I'll admit that I did next to no research on schizophrenia (probably not something I should be admitting to, though!) before this, but hearing that it sounds like I might have is actually quite a relief. ;) I definitely wanted his insanity to sort of filter through, though, and I'm so, so glad you caught that! I don't know why, but mental illness fascinates me. Just the thought that you might not notice, until it's too late...

Ginny's line is one of my favorites; mirroring back to something Harry said, when I got the idea for it, sent a bit of a shiver up my own spine! (Is that lame?) I actually found the banner before setting out to write this one-shot, and the owls part came solely from the birds on the banner. A bit of luck, really!

I'm glad you could follow the story well, too. That's still a slight concern of mine. ;) Sometimes in angsty stories, like this one definitely is, the story itself is lost in the telling of it, if that makes sense. Thank you so much for all your kind compliments. ♥ I am sort of reeling from them now. You are too good to me!

This was a beyond fantastic review, Amanda! Thank you so, so much for leaving it. :3 And I'm really happy you liked this story, too!

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Review #4, by Zai Chosen

5th September 2012:
I had no idea you had written this! If you are in fact the person I met hours ago. and if you are then you know who I am... and yeah you get it. Anyway I rarely review so I sincerely hope this is you, and not someone else. Congratulations on the Dobby(s) and here's to many more!

Author's Response: This is me! Aargh, I can't believe you've found me!! :D I'm legitimately so excited right now that I've found a fellow fan fiction writer -- you completely made my day. And then some!

Thank you for taking the time to review (and all the more because it's unusual for you), and thank you! ♥ I'll definitely be seeing you around!! :)

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Review #5, by ChaosWednesday Chosen

18th August 2012:
Hey there, it's Whiskey from the forums with your requested review.

When I saw that this was an AU involving madness, I feared it would be one of those (obligatory for every fanverse) there-is-no-magic-its-all-in-your-head trips to the loony bin to visit all of our favourite characters in straightjackets. I don't like those stories.

What I DO like, though, is an eery and precise resurrection of an entire HP BOOK in zombie form! I don't know how you did it, but somehow Harry Potter came back to life...very real, but different in such a subtle, unsettling way. I had no choice but to be drawn to him, like to the ghost of a dead lover.

Basically, what I am trying to say is your stylistic loyalty to cannon was incredible! And I believe it also contributed to the unsettling effect of the story. Harry was not the only one trying to discern fantasy from reality. We, the readers, were caught in the same dilema as well, trying to figure out whether the Harry before us was an imposter, or if he was more real than the one we knew in the books.

Needless to say, your imagery is mindblowing. Its poetic in a cold, detached sort of way. It's not emotional imagery, but it creates emotion, if you know what I mean? Like good art, its gives you associations, but lets you decide yourself how you will connect them. One of my favorites was this:"Rain was pouring off the castle in great torrents, sheeting down the windows like melted glass." Subtle yet conflicting. So...good...

There were many other things I loved about this one-shot. Leaving Harry out of the ending was a great move, and so was the decision to structure the story in cut -off bits, mirroring the disconnectedness of Harry's inner world.

But since this is supposed to be a helpful review, I must come up with some CC and so I managed to think of a few things! It was quite a challenge though! XD

1) There are several sentences that seem odd and break the flow. For example:"Harry whipped his head around, trying to see what his mind had deemed appropriate for his dreams tonight." It's weirdly self-aware compared to the rest of the story. It's also not necessary, since we find out we are in a dream soon enough without it. Or another instance, when Ron said this: I've been calling your name for a while, Harry! the entire sentence just seemed very odd. I can't imagine anyone ever speaking like that, excpet maybe a needy and tired grandmother? I don't know, something is weird there...

2)It seemed to me that Harry's illness didn't really progress or develop throughout the story...All of the episodes seemed to be of a similar level of intensity (except the ones involving killing, of course). This is a very subjective thing and I'm sure many others would not see it this way, but I became quickly numbed to Harry's suffering because it was a constant. I was hoping to see him in moments of clarity where it seems like everything will be fine and then BAM an onlaught of psychosis. Or him just coming to terms with some of his symptoms and then something new and terrible shocking him into a new wave of fear and confusion. Basically, I was hoping to see some contrast that would intensify the significance of his moments of insanity

That's it! 10/10 for sure. And don't be surprised if you suddenly find me reading ALL of your stories! ;)

Author's Response: Thank you for taking the time to leave this for me! It's super appreciated. :) I love writing about mental illness (as weird as it sounds to say that), and I'm so glad that you enjoyed this and found it to be rather in canon -- those are, perhaps, the two things I was most striving for in writing this!

I think Order of the Phoenix is one of the most interesting books, in that it deals so much with the mind, and what's real versus what isn't. There's Legilimency and Occlumency, and Voldemort sort of lurking about in Harry's mind, and I knew instantly when I sat down to write a second one of these stories that this would be the book I'd set my plot in. :)

I love the words you used in your review -- cold, detached. Because I think those are the sorts of things that Harry is experiencing here, and to convey that and to hear it's been conveyed is very gratifying. This is, of course, an alternate year in some aspects, but I wanted to have it feel like all the books before and after this one, and even parts of this one, happened exactly as JKR wrote them. If that makes any sense at all. ;)

I actually used a few discordant sentences on purpose for stylistic effect, but I am rather glad you pointed them out anyway! I'll look at Ron's sentence and see how I might re-write it, too. :) As for the progression of Harry's mental illness, it really isn't supposed to progress /too/ much here, just because Voldemort doesn't really progress, either. You know? I feel like I'm typing really confusing things right now. :P But I honestly do appreciate both of your points of constructive criticism!

Thank you once again for taking the time to leave me a review on this story! ♥ I can't tell you how much it means to me, and would love to see you back soon!!

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Review #6, by Aiedail Chosen

16th August 2012:
So let me start by saying that, though I am a fan of everything you write because it's yours, I am also a fan of everything you write because you have serious talent. I'm not usually a fan of "going-cray" stories, because it's so hard to do them without going overly sympathetic and trying to make excuses or without going completely overboard. There's an element of matter-of-factness about this story that makes Harry's frame of mind even more terrifying--you describe a canon instant one moment and then something like Harry having the urge to kill the next and each is as believable as the next. And it's not like you're just grasping at straws as a writer, pulling all these stunts in the name of going mad: you've chosen key moments of this portion of Harry's life that could have gone horribly wrong. You've made his madness make sense, which is talented, smart writing, and something I admire you and this story for.

It's hard to even begin to address your areas of concern because, EXCUSE ME, of course it's "any good!" Quite a lot of good, you turkey. One of the things I love about your writing that's on full display here is your ability to write beautiful imagery. Things like the rain pouring in sheets like melted glass, like hair in the breeze, like tapping fingers on newspapers...these things all make it more convincing to me that Harry's gone mad at all, because you're tempering his lunacy with moments of almost banal, ordinary, familiar images. And that you're writing it wonderfully and in a down-to-earth style gives this whole thing a ring of uncomfortable dissonance, but, and I hardly need to say, that works brilliantly in this case.

The last two lines of this--just--get to me. I have chills, everywhere, intensely, because these lines seem to extend the possibility for madness to Ginny, and by her, through her perhaps, to other characters. It's not that it's totally bonkers to want to be an owl--I totally understand the symbolism here, too, and it works wonderfully--but it's just that they're "dark specs," which seems really ominous, especially since she's making them into owls and they could be anything at all. Of course, I"m sitting here guessing--thestrals? Dementors? VOLDEMORT? FLYING DEATH EATERS? FLYING SNAPE?

The only thing that I could say that I wish were different, which is probably quite bold and stupid of me because this is a phenomenal piece of writing--is, I wish we got to see a bit more of Dumbledore, because in a way I think his and Harry's p.o.v.'s always sort of melded with me in the fifth book, because Harry was always full of angst at Dumbles not paying him proper attention. You do touch on this obviously, and you probably don't need it again, it's just the only thing I finish off feeling perhaps I'm missing.

And meanwhile, not bringing Harry physically back into the ending is a brave, but smart and extremely effective move. Brave, because this is a story about Harry and people are obviously going to want to know what happens to him in the end--but smart and effective for that exact reason. Harry's mad! He just imagined killing his godfather! He could be anywhere, doing anything--killing more people, throwing himself off the Astronomy tower, wrestling eclairs out of the hands of house elves in the kitchens--I'm left distinctly ruffled, and that sort of effect is just the right amount of creepy and ominous for the tone of this fic.

Overall, my dear, this is just another reason to add to my list of reasons as to why someday, you're going to have your name plastered to billboards and peeking out of bookshelf's, perhaps topping a best-sellers list for days, weeks, months at a time ♥ I thoroughly enjoyed this and I honestly believe your talent is astounding for someone your age and I admire you so much for doing what you do, as well as you do it.


Author's Response: Okay. I am going to attempt to respond to this, and it will be sucky, but I will /try/. :3 Please forgive any pathetic responding that may occur, starting... now!

For some reason I have yet to identify, I love writing on-the-brink-of-insanity stories. I'm looking forward to taking psychology for just that reason: I love delving into the minds of people, especially people who don't act like everyone else, and seeing how they see the world. And Harry seems like such a prime suspect for this, playing host to Voldemort for nearly seventeen years of his life. Gahh, how horrible must that have been, at times?

I'm so, so happy you liked the imagery! :3 (Especially since, hello, you're basically the queen of it.) I loved that you called it down-to-earth, because that kind of made me think of something I said in a response to Hannah's review. I wanted this to seem not so far-fetched as it probably is, because I love thinking how close he probably was to going kind of nuts... And matter-of-factness, presenting things as inarguable, is definitely a way to achieve that end. At least in my book! Funny thing about the owls, too, is that it didn't cross my mind to include them until I put hedwidgeon's banner on hold, and basically needed a way to justify the birds on it. :D And bam! Owls!

I definitely understand what you mean about Dumbledore and Harry -- and I actually really wanted to rewrite that scene between the two of them in the headmaster's office! But, alas, it did not fit the timeline. :( I think I should, though... it is something to stew over... You are an idea-sparker. ♥

Bookshelves and billboards say what?! Ugggh, this review. Like -- I can't even. YOU ARE THE BEST. ♥ Thank you so much for being willing to review this for me, and I'm seriously so appreciative of all your compliments!! ♥ ♥

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Review #7, by hdawg Chosen

15th August 2012:
As I promised you, I am here :) firstly, I would like to say that the banner is gorgeous. Top marks for hedwidgeon!

"The wind continued to toy with his hair, and he could almost imagine he could hear voices inside of it - high, whispering voices, both identical and completely different, all at once." This description is just beautiful - kind of eerie and yet majestic at the same time. Very very apt for the wind and the situation.

I would also like to say that I very much think that setting this story during Harry's fifth year is also, for want of a better word, apt. His most angsty year, filled with ominous images and a discordant atmosphere. I also very much like the way Harry keeps feeling his scar - like this his only way of, if not calming himself down, then at least realising who he is. Well that's what I'm gathering from the situation anyway.

You are describing events exactly as JKR did in OOTP. I take my hat off to you and bow down at your feet. "Ron and Hermione were both staring at him, neither of them speaking. "What?" he snapped, in a harsher tone of voice than he meant to./"Nothing," Ron said hastily, but Harry didn't miss the quick look he shot Hermione." Gosh, it's like you channel her into your fingertips when you're writing, you just get the balance, the relationships in this book, just right.

"His hand had come away red, shimmering with blood; blood that was not his own.../He blinked once, and the blood was gone.../The blame-slinging ringing in his head had turned to laughter." This reminds me an awful lot of Lady Macbeth saying 'Out, damned spot, out I say!...Will these hands ne'er be clean?', and which I think is totally appropriate to the story. Not only had Lady Macbeth gone mad by this point, but she was so wracked with guilt that nothing that was said was actually getting through to her. And this is what I feel is happening to Harry, except for in his case, he is actually innocent. Using this motif between these texts was perfect to help understand Harry's inner-torment even more.

Wow. That was powerful - the whole bit about him being goaded to kill Hermione - I would normally quote bits here but that was I don't quite know what to say. As much as I love Harry and everything, this is making me, well, /dislike/ him a little bit.

Wow. That was both dark and brilliant. The end line, whilst not only having Harry's previous connotations of madness, is kind of hopeful. Maybe he will get better, maybe he will pull through. And once more I am wondering whether this is a canon story or an AU, because, seriously, it could be both. You are a genius.

This is a wonderful piece of writing, Janechel. The way you have adapted JKR's style to make the story believable, and at the same time running with canon and your own universe makes it even more real. And at the same time, these smatterings of real/not real make me wonder what is real, and so make me empathise with Harry. And for me to do that in a story when he seems so cut-off from normal human interaction is a skill.

I shower you with all compliments, and yet I don't want you to disregard them. When I say that you are wonderful at writing, that you seriously made me rethink the whole of OOTP, please believe me. This is fantastic, and I can't wait to read more of you :)

Lots of love,
Hannah ♥

Author's Response: I seriously don't even know how I'm supposed to respond to this, Hannah. Like... I'm going to try, but I'll tell you right now, it'll be fail. FORGIVE ME. ♥

I loved seeing the word through Harry's (slightly crazy) eyes here, and I think your description of it is -- to use your word -- very apt! Eerie and dark, yet somehow pretty, was basically exactly what I was going for, and I am just floored that you found those exact things here. :) And I LOVE your connection to Macbeth! I didn't even think about that while writing this, but it totally, totally fits. (And you totally nailed the reasoning for his scar, so go you!)

I can't even fathom how awesome it is that you've compared my writing here to JKR's. ♥ Thank you!! I find it very easy to slip into her tone when I need to, just because I've read the books and listened to the audiobooks goodness knows how many times. And for stories like this, I do love to try and make HER voice come across... because it seems a little more believable that way. Like you said, there is (hopefully) a fairly fine line in this story between what's canon and what isn't. But seriously -- that is such an amazing thing to say, and I just adore that you did. :)

This review made my day, and then some. Honestly, Hannah, you leave the BEST reviews! I'm honored to have one from you. :) So, so glad you enjoyed this story, and thank you again for it!! ♥

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Review #8, by DracoFerret11 Chosen

12th August 2012:
Hello there! This is DarkRose from the forums here to review for you! :D So, let's go over things:

Style: I don't usually start here, but I'm going to for this story. Honestly, after I finished reading it, I legitimately said the word "wow" aloud. And I think that really sums up this story for me. It was so terribly heavy and hurtful and sad, but absolutely beautifully written. It's going into my favorites, which really doesn't happen often.

Characterization: Okay, so we're going to move on to this so that I can talk about Harry some. :] I've never read a story that gets into his head this much. I actually don't read many stories that have Harry in them at all...but I think that you captured his character perfectly. Yes, this was AU, but it was also about our favorite boy wonder, and you showed him in such a great light. This was wonderfully believable. Great job.

Descriptions: Wow. Really. I'm serious. Wow. Why are you such a wonderful writer?! I could see everything that was happening, but more importantly, I could FEEL it. The details you gave to all of Harry's emotions were so deep. I felt like I could really get inside his head. It was actually hurtful in a way. This took me longer than it should have to read because I had to keep stopping to come up for air, so to say. That's impressive.

Plot: I think you worked this into canon in a really amazing way. I loved how you pulled in Harry's mental state while still working with our canon details. Terrific job.

Ahhh, this is just a wonderful story. It's definitely one of the (if not THE) best story I've read that delves into someone's mental state. I'm definitely impressed and I think you did a spectacular job. :D


Author's Response: Gahhh, Emily. ♥ How am I even supposed to respond to this review?! I was a little anxious about posting this story -- I mean, it's a bit nerve-wracking to post a story where your main character pretty much goes insane. But you favorited it, and I just... wow. Thank you so much!!

Everything I was worried about, you've managed to alleviate in this response -- like Harry's characterization. :) I wanted to keep it canon, while at the same time, you know, making it AU, and I'm just so happy you saw that. And I LOVED that you were able to get inside Harry's head, because that was definitely something I was really going for, too! I think something like this is scarier when you /can/ get into the head of the character, and I'm just so gratified. Truly. ♥

You're making me blush; I feel all giddy now. :D I'm just beyond flattered, and so grateful, and all those things! (Please do forgive the rambling nature of this review.) Thank you so much for being willing to review this for me -- and I'm ecstatic you liked it so much!! :3 ♥

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Review #9, by BoOkWoRm24 Chosen

8th August 2012:

right I've collected myself, so... here with your requested review.

This was really really well put together. The way you had Harry's insanity building throughout the entire thing was extrememly realistic. In fact I found him being insane extremely realistic. I could completely see him going mad, especially if in this alternate universe, there was nothing stopping Voldy from getting into Harry's head.

I thought over all that your characterization of everyone else was spectacular. With Sirius at the dinner table, Cho brushing off Harry's attack, and Hermione being all concerned. It was all very good.

The one thing that bothered me was at the very end, I felt like your characters didn't react enough to Ginny dropping the 'oh yeah by the by Harry's in St. Mungos.' I felt like they should've seemed more like upset over that. Even if they already knew I feel like maybe Ron would clench his jaw, and maybe Ginny would have a hard time saying the name St. Mungo's out loud. Subtle things, but still things. The impression I got after reading this was that they were more outwardly concerned about him knowing about Sirius. Which I understand that, but still I feel like there should've been some sort of reaction to the entire St. Mungos thing... unless Harry's been there the entire time and this is all happening in his head o.O. If that's the case then ignore most of what I just said.

Anyway other than that one little bit at the end, the rest was flawless, grammar, pacing, flow, were all done spectacularly well. You are a very gifted author.

So keep up the good work


Author's Response: Thank you for being willing to stop by and have a look at this for me! :) I love writing about Harry's mental state -- or, sometimes, the lack thereof. I'm not sure why, but it's something that's really fascinating for me. If I ever get a good idea, I'd love to do a Harry-centric novel someday. So I'm very glad that you enjoyed this!

I work hard to keep my characters as in canon as possible, so I'm glad you found them to be so! And I do understand where you're coming from with the end bit. Ron, Hermione, and Ginny are all fully aware that Harry's gone to St. Mungo's in that portion of the story; the shock value's sort of gone from it, if that makes sense. And you have to understand that Harry's not fully insane. He cracked, yes, but he's very much /normal/ before and after his episodes. ;) Thank you for commenting on that, though!

Thank you again for reviewing this for me -- I really do appreciate it very much. :3 I hope you've enjoyed the story, and I'll see you around, I'm sure!

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Review #10, by Jchrissy Chosen

8th August 2012:
Ah Ha! That's where the AU comes in! I was looking for you, alternate universe!

Anyway: I think this is the first requested review I've done for you, right? My request style is - I list anything odd I saw first then get to the actual review part :).

The only things I noticed was
1) using forehead twice in the same sentence in the first paragraph
2) Now I'm not sure about this. But, I was going to say in that same paragraph - you state that he raised an absent hand which immediately made me thing of him raising his arm but there was no hand attached. He absently raised a hand might help that. But now that I know what kind of mental condition he's in, maybe he really didn't raise a hand and just thought he did and that's why it's absent.

I *love* your exploration of his psyche in this. Especially the sentence that says something along the lines of that being the first time Harry wondered if he was going mad, but not the last. That felt very powerful and really set the perfect tone.

I'm not a big Harry fan, I felt like he was kind of a whiny brat during Ootp, but you've really made me want to just make things better for him in this. We get a look at what his fears are through JKR, but this completely submerges us in the what if. What if Voldemort had been controlling and ripping his psyche apart from the seams? It's an incredible disturbing but very intriguing premises.

The only thing I felt like this was missing (and take this with a grain of salt, because for some reason I had just gotten it into my head that it would be here) is more physical symptoms. Like - with dissociative identity disorder, it's very common for a person to vomit, to spike a fever, those kinds of physical reactions to the switching of the personalities. Harry's is much more extreme, because it's not his own mind making the switch, it's the control of something else affecting him. I kept waiting for him to go into the bathroom and be violently ill after one of the episodes where the voice speaks to him.

You do an amazing job of giving me a headache when you describe the sensations of his scar. I swear, I wanted to clench my forehead because I felt like it was going to start pounding any second!

Everything flowed beautifully smooth, as always. Your choice of words were perfect, there were never any details or descriptions that felt out of place; each one of them strengthened it rather than overpowering.

You asked if this was any good on your request: YES! This is amazing, it's captivating and honestly, I find it really believable. Terrifyingly so, actually. I think this is a really strong piece that kept me in chills the whole way through, as always - your writing brings things to life.

Great job, and I hope I was able to be of some help!

Author's Response: Ooh, thank you for catching those little things! I always seem to do a poor job of it myself -- I've corrected the first paragraph accordingly. ;)

Exploring Harry's mental condition is... I won't say it's a hobby, but I actually find myself thinking about it quite a bit, and wondering just how he dealt with having Voldemort inside of his mind, you know? And this is the second time I've written a one-shot about it, so I guess it is something I like doing, writing about crazies. :P I think Voldemort could have done so much more damage to Harry if he'd realized exactly what the mental connection between them was, and really we should be thankful he DIDN'T do more.

Ooh, how interesting. I've read just a bit about dissociative disorders (and am actually looking forward to a psychology class this semester so I can further investigate those sorts of things!), but I've never really heard much about the physical aspects of it. I do think, though, that Harry's case is unique; it's less about multiple personality disorder than it is a fusing of two completely real people, if that makes any sense at all. I don't think it's something that can be properly defined, because, well, no mental connection like this exists in our "Muggle" world. Thank you for the suggestion, though -- it's definitely something to think about!

Thank you so much for being willing to leave me a review on this story, Jami! ♥ I was a little worried upon posting it -- I never really can gauge what sorts of stories people will like, you know? But your encouragement to that end really is just so sweet, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your kind words. :) You're awesome!

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Review #11, by Violet Gryfindor Chosen

8th August 2012:
Oh, so that is where the AU part comes in. O_O I was not expecting that. At all. Yet I should have - it was coming all along, a slow thread weaving through the very canon examination of Harry's fractured psychological state in OotP. He was unravelling, Voldemort pulling him apart from within. It wasn't about mind control, about taking him over, as it was destroying him in an incredible, but horrifying way.

The moment that struck me hardest wasn't actually the end, but when Harry is screaming, wanting to save Sirius, but he can't because he's not actually there. His mind is there via Voldemort's, making him feel as though he, not Voldemort, is the torturer. It's just the kind of thing that would destroy someone like Harry who is very loyal and loving to the people special to him. It's an amplified version of that cruel game of torturing the loved one to evoke a desired response. Now, in the books, Voldemort wasn't so much aware of this, but here, in this story, you've shown what could have been, and it's chilling. More than chilling, but that's the word that comes first to mind. Voldemort could have taken advantage of the situation, not to lure Harry to him, but to ensure that Harry's powers were crippled. It actually strikes me now that JKR's Voldemort was very stupid, blind to the potential of this connection to Harry (and to other things as well).

My mind is exploding. Ouch. Your story has made me think too much. It is too late in the day for this kind of mental workout. :P But I like what this story has done to my head. I love stories that make me think, feel, and, better yet, re-evaluate things - they remind me of the power of a brilliantly told story.

As I mentioned in the forum comment, your story has also made me think of Harry in a different way. I have, lately, been trying to have more sympathy for him, but initially, OotP made me really dislike Harry. It was hard to say who I liked less - Harry or Umbridge - that's how alienated I was due to his constant whining and general fifteen-year-old drama queen behaviour. But a story like this demonstrates that what we got in the books didn't tell the whole story - he acted like he did because he had Voldemort literally in his head. That must have been a nightmare, placing him and everyone he loved in danger at every moment, and it must have reminded him of how Voldemort's head was fused onto Quirrell's. Can any of us imagine what it's like to have another person's consciousness in our head, much less having that someone be Voldemort? The fact that Harry managed not to go crazy in OotP says a lot about his strength - he let his emotions remain in control and, oddly enough, that's what saved him. Sadly, in your story, nothing Harry could have done would have preventing the ending. No one else, outside of Dumbledore (maybe), could have helped him, either. It's just so sad.

I'm in awe of how carefully this story is put together - even if it came out quickly and easily for you, it still feels very intricate, not only in the characterization, but also in how you use and recreate canon. Most of this story follows canon so closely that it felt like a series of of missing moments, extensions from the books to provide deeper insight into Harry's state of mind. But then you twist it sharply, but it's too late for us poor readers - we're caught up in your web. That's where perfect AU comes from - that little twist. Not a major change, but something small - the vision going wrong, affecting Harry in a different way, driving him to madness rather than action. I'm still reeling from it all.

Okay, I will stop with now to say that this is an amazing piece of writing - top-notch quality with a line of reasoning behind it which reveals that you are indeed JKR in disguise. I came to this story expecting amazing, and somehow, you gave better. Thank you for this.

Author's Response: Oh my goodness. I saw this just before going to bed last night, and I just... wow. Thank you so much for this!! I'll try and be sensible as I go through and respond, I promise. :)

This isn't the first time I've decided to sashay into delving into Harry's psychological state of being, and -- as odd as it might sound -- I absolutely love doing so. This and the other crazy!Harry one-shot I wrote are some of my favorite things on my author's page. :) I love that your favorite part of Harry's was his sort-of dream, seeing Sirius killed, because I kind of see all my stories in an arc, and that was intended to be the very top of it. I agree with you in that Voldemort could have tapped MUCH more deeply into his mental connection with Harry, and I don't think the outcome I wrote here would be a far cry from the truth, should he have realized its power. I love that you've somehow identified with the pinnacle of the story; it's Harry's breaking point, his sort of crossing through a metaphorical veil (fitting because of Sirius's canon death).

I actually used to not like Harry very much! And for a lot of the reasons you stated above, too -- the whiny fifteen-year-old boy did not sit well with me, and frankly I wanted to shake him when reading those parts. But when you think about how fragile his mind was, and how, for bits of the time (especially when dreaming) it was barely even HIS, it's no wonder he was cranky and upset. And even before all that -- he's just seen a classmate die, he's been tortured by the man who killed his parents. I can't even imagine the burdens on him. It really made me love him a lot more when I sort of connected all those things together... and now he's one of my favorite characters! ;) There's a lot writers can do with Harry; I've learned a good deal from writing his character. I'd love to be able to do a novel-length Harry-centric story someday.

I'm SO pleased to hear that you think this story is intricate! Each scene was a stepping stone toward the brink -- something Harry could once laugh off or explain away became more and more horrifying for him, and he caved to it, which is rather frightening. My AU Harry is, I think, a bit weaker than canon Harry, who at least tried to fight against his connection. One thing I really try and focus on in writing AU (which I've been doing more and more of lately!) is making it as real as possible. I want to tie it into canon and ground it into the stories as much as I possibly can, because I somewhat subscribe to the theory that there are infinite dimensions containing the outcomes of infinite choices. This is one of those, splitting from Order of the Phoenix at some points and interlacing with it at others.

Anyway! :3 I honestly, honestly cannot even begin to thank you enough for how seriously incredible this review is. You got EXACTLY what I was trying to bring to the table, and that's so gratifying! I'm beyond ecstatic that you enjoyed this story so much. ♥ Thanks a million, Susan!!

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Review #12, by Toujours Padfoot Chosen

7th August 2012:

HOW DO YOU DO THIS??? You just keep topping yourself over and over. Fair warning: This review's going to be awful and about none of it will probably sink in as much as it should since you've heard me gush loads of times over various stuff you've written, so even though I'm just sitting here dumbstruck, you're probably going to be all, "Yeah, yeah, you always say that," BUT TELLING YOU, WOMAN (while figuratively shaking your shoulders), THIS IS BRILLIANT.

Seriously, my brain was evenly divided into two thoughts throughout: one, of course was absorbed in the story, watching Harry accidentally use diffindo on Cho and write a letter to Sirius just for the excuse of having somewhere else to go to, and HIS BRAIN, MAN, HIS BRAIN. The ending was absolutely perfect, as well, with Ginny musing about what it would be like to be an owl - the perfect way to come full circle. So insane and fascinating and omg, so wonderfully done. Writing about a person who's slowly losing their mind is very hard. Not everyone can do that, can climb into a mind like that and portray it accurately and with such...feeling (seriously got goosebumps like you wouldn't believe, and coupled with Inception soundtrack, I felt like jumping out of my own skin); and then the other half of my brain was busy thinking over and over, "She needs to write an original fiction about this. She needs to bring this sort of thing to the rest of the world, not just the HP fandom." Because, like I said, not everyone is able to think this way. You are. It's a gift. I want to see this thoroughly explored. If I felt like unraveling just because of a one-shot, I can only imagine...just...and without the ToS, too...


And your language, of course, was so beautiful, and that made it all the more poignant. GOD I FEEL SO JUMPY NOW. But this was, of course, amazing - a wonderful example of your range as a writer and your particular gift with portraying mental illness in a way others cannot, not even (dare I say) JKR.

I want to jump right back into his mind and begin to itch all over again, and hear things that aren't there and see things that aren't there and do things I didn't mean to do.


Author's Response: AGHHH.HHH.HHH.HHH RIGHT BACK. ♥ How am I even supposed to tackle this?! It's like... nope. This is going to be so fail in exactly the way your review WASN'T. Heeere we go!

I think one of my favorite things about writing crazy people is that there are /so many/ ways to go, and even if you start to go one way you can totally flip things around in the middle. And nothing has to make sense because nothing IS sensible, and you can take so many liberties and just gah. It's a really freeing thing, writing the unstable mind. I love, love, love it -- and I'm so excited for psychology this semester, to explore how the mind works and everything and just LOVE. ♥

I would absolutely love to write an original fiction about insanity. Or even just include an insane character IN an original fiction, which actually isn't something I've considered before you mentioned it, but now that you have brought it up -- oh my gosh, I want to do it. And there's a sort of idea that I'm still working on but it might for for it and WHY ARE YOU SO BRILL. Seriously, stop inspiring me all over the place (except never stop).

Each story /feels/ different, you know? Like writing In The Red is different from writing Break Out, and this is different from both... but I'm so glad you liked this. So, so glad. :3 It's always iffy on who'll like these kinds of things, but you like psycho stories like I do and you really are just fab.


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Review #13, by honoraryweasley Chosen

7th August 2012:
Clicking on this link was a total fluke, but I'm so glad I did! I haven't read much AU or much Hogwarts era, but this is really excellent. The writing was lovely - the best part was that it didn't obstruct the actual plot and characters at all, and you don't realise until you actively think about it that the wording used is so lovely. It really paints an image in your head. Honestly, my absolute favourite part was at the end with Hermione and Ron, because it seems so canon! Anyway, I have to rush off so forgive the hurried review, but know that I enjoy this tremendously and it's absolutely flawless x

Author's Response: This review really made my morning -- what a great way to start the day! :) I'm so glad that you liked this story, especially since I was a bit worried about posting it. Sometimes I feel that some of my ideas are a bit... out there. And it's difficult to gauge who might like a particular piece of writing!

Thank you so much for your lovely compliments about my descriptions, and about the end seeming canon. Even when writing AU (something I've been doing more and more of lately!) I seek to make it as canon-compliant as possible, and comments to that end really are so, so appreciated.

This review just makes me smile! :3 I'm truly grateful to you for leaving it, and for saying such awesome things, too. It really is so appreciated, and I definitely hope to see you around before too long! Thanks again!!

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Review #14, by GracelesslyFalling Chosen

6th August 2012:
Wow, I've never read a fic with Harry having a mental illness, though i have thought of it, especially after the GOF, considering the whole 'Cedric's death' thing, and I think that you've portrayed a slightly insane harry really well!

And you're description's amazing by the way! I don't really read Hogwarts era fics, but you did an amazing job :D

This was wonderful, and really well written! I /loved/ it :)

-izzy xx

Author's Response: Thank you for dropping by this! This story is actually my second foray into writing a story where Harry's a bit insane -- I wrote a one-shot called 'Descending' about a year ago, set when Harry's a bit older. ;) I'm so happy you think I've got it down, though!

Ahh, I'm so pleased you liked my description. :3 Hogwarts is actually my favorite era to write in, though I know a lot of people don't share that view, so it makes me really happy to see I've converted you! In a sense. :P

Thanks (again!) for taking the time to leave me your opinion on this story! I honestly cannot tell you what it means to me to have such a positive review, especially on a story that I was a bit apprehensive to post! This really did make my evening! ♥

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Review #15, by luciusobsessed Chosen

6th August 2012:
Woohoo! First review here :)

Let me start off by saying that your writing style is utterly impeccable. Your descriptions are flawless, and the adjectives you use clearly carve out a lucid image in my mind. I hope that one day, my writing can be as amazing as yours.

This story was absolutely brilliant. The way you pieced everything together, and really delved into the mental connection between Voldemort and Harry, is truly original and inspirational. It really shows that you have an imaginative and creative mind.

Like I said, your writing style has taken me aback, and has greatly motivated me to improve on my own writing. I look forward to reading more of your works! xx

Author's Response: Wow, thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked this, because while I live for these sorts of stories (mental instability, insanity, twisted things, all that) I never know if anyone else does, too. So your comments really are so encouraging and lovely!

I worked hard on this one-shot (and it sort of got away from me!), and it makes me beyond happy to hear that you liked my descriptions and writing in general. That's just, like... the best compliment, you know?

I honestly cannot thank you enough for how sweet of a review this was. And how much it means to me that you were willing to leave it, and add it to your favorites besides! Thank you so much!! ♥

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